For my name tag, I was very interested in testing out how precise a laser cutter could be. I initially wanted to incorporate a very intricate silhouette – like the one below.

However, I began thinking about vectoring such a design – just to kick it up a notch and work with negative spaces in the design. However, I was worried that a very thin vectored pattern could be susceptible to breakage.

So I wanted to make a simpler, thicker pattern that I’d want vectored and cut out.

I have been playing basketball for 10 years and I’ve watched basketball religiously for 4 – so I wanted to incorporate this into my name tag.

I began drawing my basketball shape, since I couldn’t figure out how to do this with ellipses alone.

My iterative process.
First I was hand drawing – then a volunteer showed me how to invert a trace, and I arrived at neater solutions

I then realized that I could work with 2 layers – first layer contains the silhouette of basketball lines, and I could paste this onto a second layer that contained text, which fit within the silhouette lines!

I made the basketball lines in the second layer GREEN with Raster/Vector, so that the lines would be Rastered, but using the vector path algorithm.
It was very cool seeing the laser do Raster/Vector.

The 2 layers!
I wanted to do black lines, and an orange background, both on acrylic.
However, I really liked the idea of using multiple materials also, so I made the background out of plywood.

I then used superglue to glue them together to get my finished product

Jeremy was the volunteer who helped me out with my design process and implementation. I was talking through my ideas with him. I originally wanted a singular layer, with the basketball-holes-silhouette, and my info on the rest of the name tag.
It was Jeremy’s idea to use 2 layers, and write my info on the second layer. Hats off to him.

He also recommended setting a slower speed while Rastering my wood, so that I would get a deeper etch. I felt like this was important since my name tag already has depth from using 2 layers.

I’m beyond satisfied with how my project came out, and thinking through my ideas and implementation with Jeremy BEFORE I started any printing was vital to the success of this on the very first try.